Jean Scott Hergesheimer 1923-2017
I was born in Mabton, Washington to Charles Lincoln Scott and Clara Casement Scott on September 22, 1923. A midwife came to our house and delivered me at 2:30 p.m. Back then your birth certificate listed the occupation of your parents. Dad was listed as a ”Grain Man” and Mama was a “housewife.” Dad was 50 when I was born and Mama was 38. We lived in Mabton in my younger years and then Dad bought some land at Daisy, Washington. We lived on a hill overlooking acres of farmland and timber. My brothers Elmo, Ivan and Wayne, sisters Thelma, Ruth and Hazel had the best of times together. Dad and Mama scraped out a living on our land and we had a childhood filled with love. My Dad passed away when I was 9 years old, leaving Mama with 7 children to raise. Our house was small with one bed. Usually at night time, 5 of us would pile into the bed to sleep. I went to grade school in a one-room school at Daisy, riding my horse side saddle to school each day. Days of snow, wind and cold were brutal on horseback but that was how I got to and from school. I loved school, wore a dress every day. My school books and lunch bucket were in my saddle bag. After completing 8 years of school at Daisy, I then got to ride the bus to Columbia High School at Hunters, Washington. I was pretty shy and didn’t know anyone at this new school. After school each day I had chores to do when I got home. Get the wood in for the night fire, wash the dishes and do my school work, which was usually reading. Mama and I would sit by the barrel stove in our house and read by kerosene light. My mama was so sweet and kind, she and I were very close.
High school was a fun time for me. I noticed this tall, dark-haired boy by the name of Neil Hergesheimer and thought he was handsome. He was a year older than me. He played football and I liked to watch him. He lived on a big farm at Cedonia. School became even more fun once Neil and I decided we liked each other. Neil graduated and worked on his parent’s farm. He had a 1935 Ford Coupe and he would drive to my house to see me.
One week after I graduated from high school Neil and I were married on May 31, 1942 in his parent’s front yard. Neil’s brother Gilbert and my sister Hazel stood up with us. I wore a very pretty white suit and my shoes were so beautiful. They were high heels with pink-colored roses on the tips. My Mama and Neil’s parents were at our wedding. Neil’s parents bought me a corsage and him a boutonniere.
Neil was given an Agricultural Deferment from the military to stay home and help his Dad run the farm. Neil’s Dad gave us 400 acres on the edge of their place and we built a small house on our land. We raised pigs and cows, farmed and of course Neil’s love for horses brought us several horses for pulling equipment on our farm. Neil worked for Stevens County Road Department and I took care of the house, big garden and yard. I learned to can and preserve any food I could get my hands on. I loved being a housewife.
In December 1944 our first child, Randy Scott Hergesheimer was born. We were thrilled to have a son. In March 1950 we were blessed with our daughter, Holly Jeneil. Six years later, April 1956 Jace Kelly was born, followed by Keith Lynn in July 1958. Our family was complete. We were so happy to be blessed with four beautiful children.
Our kids were involved in 4-H and attended the Cedonia Christian Church. By this time we had a number of horses. Neil and I were leaders in the Sundowner’s Riding Club. Neil and the boys would ride into the mountains on horseback to hunt and camp. I was active in the PTA and Ladies Aid. I learned to sew and made most of Holly’s clothes and the boy’s and Neil’s western shirts.
I made Holly and I matching dresses and Neil and the boys matching shirts. I also taught myself to decorate cakes. I made wedding cakes for many of the neighor’s children when they married,as well as 25th and 50th wedding anniversary celebrations. Many of Neil’s family lived in Spokane and transporting a 4-tier wedding cake in sections to Spokane in the back of our station wagon was always nerve wracking, but we always got it there! I was honored to make the wedding cakes for my kids and grandchildren.
In 1961 I was not feeling well and went to the doctor. I was told I had kidney stones and I should pass them if I drank a lot of water. Soon the pain was intolerable and Neil took me to Spokane. The doctor in Spokane diagnosed me with cancer and I soon had major surgery. After my discharge from the hospital I wasn’t able to leave Spokane because we lived so far away, I stayed with Neil’s sister, Inez. She was Director of Nursing Services at Deaconess so I had very special loving care. Neil would come to Spokane with the kids on the weekend to see me. It was so difficult being away from my family. Two year’s later I had another cancer surgery.
We became grandparents for the first time in 1969. Soon we had four beautiful healthy grandchildren, Ronda, Scott, Wende and Andy.
In 1971 Neil and I sold our 400 acre ranch and moved up the creek. We built a new house on 20 acres and every night as we went to sleep we heard the sound of the creek.
Jace and Keith were in high school by this time and I went to work at Columbia High School as a Teacher’s Aide. I loved working with the small children, it was very rewarding. I stayed at the school until 1975.
In 1975 I decided I wanted to sell real estate. I got my license and began a 37 year career. I first worked for Timberline Realty. My kids would often tell me they had to “make an appointment” to see me because I was always “wheelin and dealin!” I really enjoyed selling real estate and made many friends over the years. I retired from real estate in 2012.
I was in the hospital on February 20, 1980 when Holly and Neil came to my room and told me that our first-born son Randy Scott had lost his life in the line of duty working for the Montana Bureau of Investigation. It was the worst day of my life. I eventually was able to go home from the hospital and after weeks of recuperation I was strong enough to go to my son’s funeral. In 1984 I was ill again and was told the cancer had returned with a vengeance. Surgery soon followed and my stomach and spleen were removed. My doctor told me to “go home and forget you ever had cancer.” So I did just that.
I walked Bloomsday with Holly and Wende in 1987. I still have my shirt.
Neil retired from the Stevens County Road Department in 1987 and we enjoyed every single minute of retirement. We created Hergy’s Horseshoe Art, various western items all made from horseshoes. We traveled throughout Washington, Idaho and Montana to craft shows and met many wonderful people. In September I found out I had colon cancer. Another surgery and a long stay away from my family.
Within the next few years we had two more grandchildren, Emily and Jacob. We were so blessed to have our grandchildren close. They came and stayed with us and many nights were spent in a tent pitched down by the creek and roasted marshmallows from the firepit. Most nights Neil would sleep in the tent with the grandchildren. Memories they talk about to this day.
Neil and I sold our home and acreage along the creek and moved to Colville in 2007. We bought a house and acreage on Hotchkiss Road and remained there until March 2012 when together we moved to Parkview Retirement Community. The move was very difficult for Neil.
On May 31, 2012 we celebrated our 70th wedding anniversary. We received over 200 cards from neighbors, friends, family and acquaintances.
In August 2012 Neil’s health had declined and he had to move to Buena Vista Nursing Home. This was the first time Neil and I had ever lived apart. I missed him terribly. He remained at Buena Vista until he passed away on November 21, 2012. We celebrated his life later that month with immediate family and ate his favorite foods. The sun came out on that December day to celebrate my favorite cowboy. We all had a balloon and wrote a message of love and released them to heaven. I wrote “Long Live Cowboys” on my balloon.
I know my family will miss me but they also realize that I lived a good, long life. I am happy to be able to see Neil again and my son Randy. It has been 37 years since he went to heaven and we have a lot of catching up to do.
My beautiful family includes Holly Hergesheimer Thompson, Colville, Jace and wife Lu, Colville, Keith and wife Linda, Kennewick. My beloved grandchildren are Ronda Harbolt, Andy Harbolt, Wende and Jeff Holmes, Scott and Jan Hergesheimer, Andy and Sadie Hergesheimer, Emily and Adam Lattin, and Jake Hergesheimer. My great grandchildren are Randy and Haley Harbolt, Hailey Harbolt, Reilly Harbolt, Cody Holmes, Brysen Holmes, Trace Hergesheimer, Nick Hergesheimer and Grayson Lattin.
Earlier this month Randy and Haley visited me to announce that I was going to be a “great great” grandma. A beautiful little blonde blue-eyed girl will join our family in December. Oh how I wish I could have lasted until then to meet this little beauty, but I’ll be watching from heaven.
Since becoming a grandparent in 1969 I was first known as “Grandma.” Then one day Ronda and Wende started calling me “Big Grandma!!” For that past 30 plus years I have been Grammie and Grandma. My favorite song was Green Green Grass of Home. Holly would play it for me on the piano. I loved the Chocolate Covered Almonds from Costco and homemade cookies. My family raved about my Parker House dinner rolls, fried chicken and mince meat pie.
I am so proud my children. How I loved to watch Holly, Jace and Keith live their lives. My grandchildren always brought a smile to my heart. Not very many grandmas have the honor to not only meet their great grandchildren, but also to be such an important part of their lives. I am so thankful.
At my request a private family gathering will be held. I am sure there will be many stories of some of the “silly” things I have done and said in my life. I am ok with that if these stories bring a smile to my family, one of my greatest accomplishments in my 93 years. Take care of each other and know that I love all of you with all of my heart.
“In the time that you gave me, did I give all I could give?
Did I love all I could love? Did I live all I could live?
Was my faith in your grace strong enough to save me?
Did I do all I could in the time that you gave me?
Did I face the devil down?
Did I make him turn away every time I stood my ground?
If today is the day you should decide to take me
Did I do all I could do in the time that you gave me?
Oh and I’ll never know ‘til it’s over
But I wanna fly on your shoulders
Might have strayed from the path
I might have gone a little crazy
I like to think I did you proud in the time that you gave me…..
Thank you to Parkview Retirement Community for their loving care and friendship and the support given to my family.
Please visit the online memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com. Danekas Funeral Chapel and Crematory has been entrusted with arrangements.